City Slang: Weekly music review roundup

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Remember – if you send it, it will get reviewed. That’s the City Slang promise. It doesn’t matter what genre the music is – as long as it has a Metro Detroit connection, it’ll get in. Preferably, we’d like to concentrate on new releases but, while we’re getting warmed up here, feel free to send back catalog material too. Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, City Slang, Metro Times, 733, St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 46226. Email MP3s and streaming links to mt.cityslang@gmail.com.

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Red Tape Riot’s Rally Behind the Big Wheels EP actually features a picture of a Big Wheel trike on the front cover, so extra points for that. Their indie rock is ok, without ever getting exciting. It doesn’t sound so much like they’re having a riot over struggles with red tape, as they’re going home and whining about it while watching TV. There’s potential for more, but this is a band still trying to find itself.

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Autumn Wolf’s Wildchild EP is a different matter entirely. They might be talking about combining rock with dubstep, and that’s very cool but this has a very appealing old school gothy industrial sound, but with the added blessing of a contemporary edge. The songs are superb, the music is pulsing, pulsating, captivating and heavy, and the whole thing is beautifully produced.

The Avon Players consists of Andrew Ahrendt, an electro-driven indie dude who put out an incredible album a couple of years ago called Turn That Frown Upside Down, and Marcus Akers, formerly of the punk band the Illegitimate Sons of Liberty. "Our mission is to focus on pop structure and elements," Ahrendt told us, and that is kind of apparent on the band's debut EP, Electro Pop Adventures. Think Zappa and the Turtles fucking around in the studio at 3 a.m.

If Crashing Cairo’s In the Forest were described to us, it would likely turn our stomach. The idea of these super-affected and over-emotional indie kids getting all introspective – bleeuuggh. However, these guys pull it off and they do it by not being afraid to sound epic. The production is perfect here, as all four songs sound huge and not at all twee.

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Then there’s Protomartyr, a band with an awesome 45 via X! Records called Colpi Proibiti. Kind of like in the old days, these punks have squeezed four songs onto the 7” vinyl, and each tune seems to be more pissed than the next. The combination of religious imagery with every day anger is familiar but not at all stale.

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